Special Events Insurance Handout

It is the policy of the Dioceses of the Province of Detroit (Michigan) that parishes, schools and institutions that allow outside organizations or individuals to rent or use its facilities for various one time “Special Events” require those organizations or individuals to purchase the “Special Events Insurance” protection offered through the MCC.

Special Events Insurance provides protection for both the user of the facility as well as the parish or institution. It is intended to provide primary insurance protection thereby limiting the financial exposure to the Protected Loss Fund Program and the user of your facility.

Special Events Insurance is administered through the MCC. The following terms and conditions apply subject to the master policy wording:

Comprehensive General Liability
$1,000,000 Combined Single Limit
Fire Legal Liability
$ 50,000 each occurrence
Host Liquor Liability
Additional Insureds
Medical Payments
Property Damage
Included ($250 Deductible)
$100.00 per event
Policy Period
24 Hours (1 Calendar Day)

Below is a list of suggested guidelines to follow in determining the need for Special Events Insurance:

Non-Sponsored Events that require Special Events Insurance:
  • Weddings/Bridal Showers
  • Retirement, Birthday, Anniversary Parties
  • Banquets
  • Dances, Miscellaneous Parties
Sponsored Events where Special Events Insurance is not required:
  • Parish Meetings
  • Parish Festivals, Bazaars, Dinners
  • Parish Plays, Open House, etc.
  • Parish Affiliated Group (Ushers Club, etc.) activities
Endorsed but not sponsored by a parish or institution, may or may not require insurance, discretion should be used:
  • Alcoholic Anonymous, Al-Anon, etc.
  • Girl/Boy Scouts
  • Any Non-Parish Affiliated Groups

If you are unsure of the need for insurance contact MCC for clarification, 1-800-395-5565.

Liquor Liability Exposures and Controls

Our laws set forth a statutory obligation not to sell, give, or furnish alcoholic beverages to visibly intoxicated persons and in no instance to minors. The laws have created and the courts construe that there are minimum statutory standards of care.

There is also social host liability imposed on those, other than licensed retailers of liquor, who give, sell, or furnish alcohol to someone who later is alleged to have caused injury or death. Under social host liability theories, state legislatures and the courts have held hosts of private parties, weddings, and other social events liable.

Diocesan facilities, including schools, are often utilized as the place where special events are held and may include the selling, serving, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages. Most often, these events are sponsored by the parishes or schools as a means of raising funds for general support or for particular fund raising drives. There are also events that are purely social in nature wherein parishioners or supporters gather to promote goodwill. Whatever the nature of the event, in all instances where alcoholic beverages are available, locations need to develop and implement responsible practices and procedures designed to reduce incidences of wrongful intoxication. In addition to any obligations imposed by law, we have a moral obligation to provide the highest degree of protection to all people who are, or will be, on the property of parishes or institutions of the diocese. These legal and moral obligations should be communicated to renters of our facilities as they apply to the host of the event.

Each location that intends to have an event that includes the selling, serving, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages needs to give early forethought and planning on how they will specifically address the issue of liquor liability. Although each location and event differ, there are some general points which should be implemented in planning these events. Some of the basic points which we frequently discuss with parishes and schools include the following:



Learn to Recognize the Signals

According to a chart on blood alcohol level and behavior from the Alcohol Education Program on the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, here is how a person weighing 150 pounds or more and who has not recently eaten reacts to an average drink1:

Here are some recommendations for dealing with an intoxicated individual:

Certificate of Liability Insurance

It is the policy of the Dioceses of the Province of Michigan that parishes, schools, and institutions which allow either outside organizations or individuals to rent or use their facilities require those organizations or individuals to purchase the Special Events Insurance protection offered through the Michigan Catholic Conference.

Therefore, if the organization or individual wishes to utilize their own insurance, a Certificate of Insurance naming the bishop of your diocese, the diocese and the parish as additional insured must be provided. The minimum amount of coverage should be $1,000,000 (minimum $2,000,000 coverage required for units in the Archdiocese of Detroit). The phrase additional insured is imperative for this certificate to be acceptable in lieu of the Special Events Insurance offered through the Michigan Catholic Conference.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call (517) 372-3910 or 1-800-395-5565.

  1. A standard drink equals approximately 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.